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Does someone owe you money? Have you obtained Judgment? What next?

Liam O’Shea, Director & Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Dispute Resolution & Litigation department discusses the options open to you to obtain payment from your debtor after you have obtained Judgment against them.

Liam said “Once you have obtained a Judgment from the Court which states that your debtor owes you the claimed money, you may assume the person will automatically pay – however, that is not always the case.

Should they fail to pay then the Court will not automatically seek to enforce its Judgment against your debtor and you will need to pursue the debtor for payment through enforcement of the Order at the Court.

An essential part of successfully obtaining payment from someone who owes you money, is what you know about that person’s financial position – their assets and income.  That knowledge can help you choose the best method or methods of enforcement.”

Liam continued “The methods of enforcement available to you include the taking of control of the debtor’s goods, placing of a charge over the debtor’s land or shares, obtaining a third party debt order or obtaining an attachment of the debtor’s earnings.

Taking control of the debtor’s goods involves instructing either a County Court Bailiff or a High Court Enforcement Officer to enter your debtor’s premises to seize their possessions in order to sell them at auction and apply the net proceeds of any sale in satisfaction of the debt.

Your Judgment may also be enforced by securing a charge, much like a mortgage, over your debtor’s property, land or shares and then seeking a sale to satisfy the debt from the net proceeds of sale.

A third party debt order is useful where your debtor is owed money by another party.  The method of enforcement is usually used where the debtor has a bank account which is in credit.  In that case, you can seek to obtain an order that the bank pay to you the monies held in credit in the account and use them to satisfy the debt.

Further, you can obtain a direction from the Court that your debtor’s employer gives an amount of your debtor’s salary to you on a regular basis until the debt is satisfied.

Finally, should the debtor be a person, rather than a limited Company for example, and be unable to pay the debt and the Judgment is for £5,000.00 or more then you may be able to Petition the Court to ask that the Court adjudge your debtor Bankrupt – you will then be in the hands of your debtor’s Trustee in Bankruptcy who will collect together any assets owned or monies held by your debtor in order to divide them between all the people your debtor owes money to, including yourself.”

Liam concluded “With some claims for money, obtaining Judgment may be the easy part.  The art can be in choosing the best method or methods to enforce the Judgment should payment not be forthcoming.”

At Astle Paterson, we offer an initial fixed fee interview at £100 including V.A.T., where we can discuss your options of getting paid by your debtor in more detail.

Should you wish to arrange a meeting to discuss a legal issue, then please contact our Liam O’Shea on 01283 531366 or by way of email at loshea@astlepaterson.co.uk.

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